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New York, NY— In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), Planned Parenthood Federation of America is calling for increased access to sex education that addresses issues of consent, and stronger policies to support survivors of sexual assault.

“At Planned Parenthood, we know that sex education programs that include discussion and skill-building about consent are necessary to addressing sexual assault in this country,” said Leslie Kantor, vice president of education, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We work every day to ensure that all people have the education and resources they need to make healthy decisions, which include access to sexual health services without shame or judgment. We know that the ability to have healthy relationships is an issue of reproductive health, rights and justice, and we are proud of our role in moving toward a culture of consent.”

Sexual assault is a significant problem in this country:

  • Eleven percent of girls and 4 percent of boys in high school report having been forced to have sexual intercourse at some point in their lives.
  • Among high school students, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander students, black students, Hispanic students, and multiple-race students were significantly more likely than white students to report that they were forced to have sexual intercourse at some time in their lives.
  • One study suggests that nearly 1 in 5 undergraduate women experience attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college. [1]
  • According to a recent analysis, women ages 18-24 who aren’t in college are about 30 percent more likely to be sexually assaulted than their college-educated counterparts. [2] 

Planned Parenthood understands the impact that sexual assault and unhealthy relationships can have on a person’s health. Staff at Planned Parenthood health centers screen for intimate partner violence in a safe setting, and provide any necessary help and resources.

Planned Parenthood Generation is supporting the leadership of their nearly 250 college campus groups as they advocate for colleges and universities to put policies, practices, and programs in place to help prevent sexual assault and provide resources for survivors.

“Students on my campus are fighting every day to change the culture around consent to a culture of YES, a culture where consent is the norm, a culture where everyone understands that the only consent is explicit, affirmative, and enthusiastic consent,” said Richelle King, student at University of Texas at Austin and member of Planned Parenthood Generation’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Committee. “I’m proud to be a part of Planned Parenthood Generation as we push for policies and programs that teach consent and that better support survivors of assault on our campus and beyond.”

Planned Parenthood provides sex education programs in schools and communities, and outreach to 1.5 million people every year — including sex education that teaches the importance of consent and healthy relationships.  We also provide resources in print and online for young people and their families, to help them better understand and communicate about these issues, and are committed to developing more resources to help educate about consent.


[1] Krebs, Christopher P., et al. (2009). “College Women’s Experiences with Physically Forced, Alcohol- or other Drug-Enabled, and Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault before and since Entering College.”Journal of American College Health, 57(6): 639-649.

[2] Rennison, Callie Marie, and Lynn A. Addington. (2014). “Violence Against College Women: A Review to Identify Limitations in Defining the Problem and Inform Future Research.” Trauma, Violence & Abuse. 15(3):159-169.



Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


April 01, 2015